It’s rare these days to find a group of core friends who all live in the same city. As nice as it would be to work and live within a five-mile radius of each other, like the characters in Girls or Sex and the City do, it’s just not possible anymore. Friends are scattered all over the place and we all have our own busy lives, which makes it very difficult to keep in touch on a regular basis.
But there’s nothing sadder than thinking about the idea of you and your friends growing apart, especially after everything you’ve been through. That’s exactly what technology was created for. You don’t have to live together in order to remain close with all these social media and communication platforms. So we’ve rounded up some of the best (and easiest) tips to keep in close contact with your closest friends. No friend breakups happening here.
Here are seven ways to stay connected with your friends long-distance.
1Keep a group chat going between everyone
Even though you try to talk on the phone and Skype as often as possible, there are still little things that happen every single day that you probably won’t get to share during those big conversations. By roping everybody into one chat you can chat all day long about the small stuff, which really turns out to be the best stuff at the end of the day.
You and your friends can keep each other updated on the weird things your coworker says, how many lattes you had this morning, and the outfits you’re thinking about wearing to your date tonight. It’ll be like you never left each other’s sides.
2Watch the same movies or TV shows
This may not sound like a big deal, but if all of you tune in at the same time to your favorite show every week, that will give you a reason to come together and talk about the same subject. Even meeting virtually like this on a regular basis will ensure you and your friends keep some stuff in common, no matter how far away you might be.
3Start a book club together
Have every one of your friends choose a book they want to read, and then cycle through all of them month by month. Not only will this hold everyone accountable to read more often, but it will give you and your friends something to talk about that has nothing to do with work or your love life. Phew.
You can dig into novels and essays that are about the social and cultural issues you hold dearest to your heart, and then you can either group video chat each month to review the book or you can just exchange emails. Because friends who read together always stay together.
4Share big news with each other before you post it on social media
The world is a different place than it was 10 years ago. When you used to call up your best friend to tell them about your job offer, the first place you go now to announce the big news is Facebook or Instagram. That’s why it’s so important to let your friends know firsthand when good news has fallen into your lap.
Did you get the car you’ve always been dreaming of? Bought your first house? Got engaged? Rather than taking to social media first, tell your friends directly. They’ll see how important they are to you.
5When you make a time to Skype, stick to it
We all get busy from time to time, so it’s easy to cancel on plans that you’ve already made with your friends. But this is a slippery slope. When you suddenly back out on a Skype or FaceTime session, you send the subtle message that your friends aren’t that important to you in the long run. Pick a time and show up. You’ll be happy you did.
6Plan a trip together well in advance
Last minute trips never work with a big group of friends. Rather than trying to round up the gang a few days before a long weekend, be intentional about planning a vacation together ahead of time. That might mean you have to take control and get everyone to toss out some dates that they can take off work, but all it takes is a little effort of coordinating to make your holiday dreams come true.
7Send each other care packages
Here’s an old school way to let your friends know you care about them. If they’re going through a rough patch, gather all the things you know will make them feel better—their favorite snacks, old photos of the two of you, a classic book, etc.—and ship it to them without telling them it’s coming. Small gestures like this go a long, long way in maintaining a strong relationship with your best friends. Every little bit counts.